The postseason fate of the Highland Park football team will have a big impact on the early success of the Scots on the hardwood.
Four of HP’s top basketball players — Finn Corwin, Prince Dorbah, Hudson Clark, and Drew Scott — are standouts on the gridiron, too, meaning the Scots will be severely shorthanded until football season concludes, which might not be until late December.
(ABOVE: Dillon Powell, center, is one of Highland Park’s more experienced players, beginning his third year on the varsity roster. Photo: Chris McGathey)
“We’re going to be a different team once football is over,” said HP boys coach David Piehler. “Adding four quality guys is going to help us.”
Of course, the lack of depth can’t be any worse than a year ago, when HP used 11 different starting lineups due to injuries and other issues. The Scots still advanced to the second round of the Class 5A Region II playoffs, where they fell to powerhouse Little Elm. With 74 percent of the scoring from that team lost to graduation, this season will have a different look.
Returning guards Reilly Seebold and Dillon Powell will lead an undersized and inexperienced group that will rely on perimeter play until their football counterparts return to the fold.
“They’re going to get some experience for sure,” Piehler said of the newcomers. “I anticipate improving as a team and as individuals.”
Piehler hopes that mix of circumstances has the Scots ready for the heart of the District 11-5A schedule and another playoff run.
New Faces Boost HP Girls
A youth movement is in full swing for the Lady Scots, who could have as many as five freshmen on the varsity roster. Just three players return from a squad that lost in the bi-district round of the playoffs a year ago.
However, that doesn’t necessarily equal a rebuilding year for HP. The young roster is talented, as evidenced by its recent success during an informal fall league.
“They’re really hard workers, and their basketball IQ is really strong,” said HP girls coach Nicole Fleming. “With these girls being so young and buying into the system and coming on so quickly, I think they’re going to jell so well together.”
The Lady Scots should have more height this season while continuing its reliance on aggressive defense and strong perimeter play, which could cause matchup issues for opponents.
Sophomore guard Ella Patterson is the top returning scorer after starting as a freshman, and senior Caroline Keogh is back at full strength following a knee injury.
HP should benefit from a favorable alignment into District 11-5A, although the youngsters will be tested early by a daunting nondistrict schedule that begins Nov. 2 at Prosper.